UTMB Training No 22 – HK Trail rain dance

It was almost a last minute decision to go run the whole HK Trail. Weather was always going to be questionable today so running the route with many “escape” options sounded like a good idea. So late on Friday we agreed with Stuart to meet on Saturday morning and head out to the Peak to start our 44km run.

We set off in a healthy but relaxed pace. It was pissing down from the moment we got out of the taxi (well long before we even got into the taxi). It has been a while since I did a long run in heavy rain. We were both enjoying the conditions.

We were maintaining pace that would bring us to the end of the trail in about 6 hours. That is about an hour slower than what is my ultimate winter pace on this route but still about an hour faster than what we did last summer on a really hot and sunny day.

To me the pace seemed quite effortless and that was a good sign. The trail was wet and totally submerged in water at places but still rather runable. From time to time the rain eased a bit but never really stopped. Instead there few squally showers here and there.

We reached half point at Parkview at just about 3 hours. We planned quick drink refuelling at the kiosk near Wong Nai Chung reservoir. But the wet running was beginning to cause some “issues” so we opted for the supermarket at Parkview where among other things they also sell vaseline …

After the short break we pretty quickly climbed up the Jardine’s Lookout section. Here the weather became a bit more complicated – the rain had some thundery soundtrack. The thunder still sounded quite distant so we pushed to get quickly over Mt. Butler. Plan was to make a short break after Butler and check the weather app to see for the location and direction of the clearly incoming thunderstorm.

So we did just that. The radar screen was totally covered with storm cells apparently moving in our direction. After short discussion we concluded that there are better place to be in the middle of thunderstorm than the Dragon’s Back ridge. So to our disappointment we abandoned the run and played the safety card. We ran back down the Mt Parker Rd to Quarry Bay and then North Point.

As it happened the big storm somehow “missed” so with the benefit of hindsight we could have continued. But when it comes to lightnings on the hills it is probably better to be safe…

Overall really enjoyable run in fun weather with a great company.

Link to Strava here.

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